Six weeks ago I made a point to finish the first draft of my first TV pilot. Thanks greatly to your process and guidance, I accomplished that goal today.
Mitch Lusas, Executive Producer | Hidden Planet Productions
I wanted to say that having you join us at Disney was a huge game changer for my writing, but also just how I view myself and my career. When you speak, you radiate positivity, and I think that was infectious to all the folks that came to class
I was recently accepted into a career launch “accelerator” program. I used the 1/2-hour comedy/mystery TV pilot that I developed in your First Draft class as my application sample. I definitely wouldn’t have had that in such good shape if I hadn’t taken your classes so thank you!
I would not be a working screenwriter if it weren’t for Pilar. She’s helped turn my scripts into exciting, page-turning reads – and she’s taught me to break all the right rules to make my writing good enough to sell!
Melissa Cassera, writer “Girl Followed and “Her Stolen Past” for Lifetime, writer/EP “Addicted” for Fullscreen (in development)
I finished a first draft of a script that I created and developed entirely with the exercises in your book and from having attended some of your previous classes. It was awarded second prize in the Euroscript 2018 Screenwriting Competition. So massive thank you for that.
Thank you so much for your presentation at the AFM. It was not only an amazing learning experience but also the most entertaining lecture that I ever attended.
The script I wrote in Pilar’s class received attention and positive feedback from a writing manager. Though I’d written pilots before, “Writing the First Draft” was the start of a new era in my writing. Whenever writing a new feature or pilot script, I always go back to the slides from class. I’ve sent several of my writing friends to Pilar since!”
I’d like to take this opportunity to say again what an eye-opener this workshop has been for me. Learning about all these elements and building blocks … opened a whole new writing world for me. They don’t feel like formula but like parameters that make so much sense and actually enable story rather than limit it.
I walked into your workshop with just the smallest kernel of an idea. I didn’t have any ideas about characters or plot or scenes, just a vague concept of what would happen if someone made a funeral interesting… By the end of the workshop, I had the entire plot, most of the characters, several scenes written, and most of the outline already worked out. That small kernel grew into a workable script in just a few days. Bottom line: Thanks for an awesome workshop. You are a fantastic teacher and so good at what you do.
Thank you for giving us the clarity on how to clear so many pages in a short amount of time! These tools you teach are invaluable and will now be part of my writing process.
Tim Van Mieghem
Thanks so much for an incredible day of seminars! Everyone I’ve run into was completely blown away!
Diane Pearlman, Executive Director Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative
I’m Vanessa, one of your translators for the 3-day screenwriting course you did in Beijing last spring. I’m writing to say THANK YOU! Your class and your words really inspired me and gave me the courage to apply for MFA screenwriting program in the US. And guess what? I’m admitted by AFI conservatory!
I wanted to get in touch to say how much I enjoyed your Writing TV event in London over the weekend. I have come away feeling energized, motivated and infinitely better equipped to transfer the stories in my head onto the page and, hopefully, eventually onto the small screen. Thank you so much.
What a fun, educational ride! I haven’t stopped telling friends and colleagues about it.
Carols Portugal, Showrunner “East Los High”
I just completed Pilar Alessandra’s two-day, in-person, script writing program, “Rewrite Techniques.” No doubt, I am a better screen writer now than I was two days ago.? Pilar knows her stuff and is outstanding on the fly. She listened to everyone’s loglines and other ideas and provided amazing feedback on the spot. This experience was a bargain based upon how much information I received and how I have already improved my script based on some of the techniques she showed me. Highly recommend.
Your class was so great. The rewriting process always used to be very overwhelming to me. But now that you’ve taught me the different passes and how to use them, it doesn’t seem so daunting. This will absolutely change the way I outline and write from here on out. I can honestly already see myself thinking about other script ideas differently because of your class. It’s really going to streamline my process.
I had the privilege of taking Pilar’s Rewrite Techniques class and was blown away by Pilar’s insight for the mechanics of screenwriting. Not only does she give you the nuts and bolts to build or rebuild your script, Pilar is engaging, fun, and nurturing. I walked away with many techniques that will revamp and tighten my TV pilot, making it more visual and dynamic. I will also apply these techniques to my future projects, both TV and film. So whether you’re a seasoned writer with a finished draft or a newbie starting to plot your storyline, you will benefit from the Rewrite Techniques class. Screenwriters serious about their craft should learn from a master – and her name is Pilar.
I recently wrote my first feature but had no idea what to do next. Pilar’s ‘Rewrite Techniques’ class gave me not only inspirational sparks on how to improve this story moving forward but also tools I can continually implement on future scripts.
Z. Joseph Guice
After the thrill of finishing a new draft of my comedy pilot I got stuck in the I-know-it-isn’t-working-but-I-
Such a quality crowd and so positive to be around. The presentation drilled in your points because the clips were so clear, precise and to the point. I was never bored the entire weekend.
No matter where you may be in the screenwriting process, Pilar’s “Rewrite Class” will provide countless tips. I found myself keeping three sets of notes: one set each for a completed screenplay, a partially written screenplay, and, a concept still in my head. Also, in-class exercises punctuate the main take-aways. You’ll have a great time, and, learn a lot!
Thanks for an amazing rewrite class! The writing exercises helped me discover things I had no idea my characters could do, needed or wanted. Wow!
In just two days I was able to develop a full rewrite plan and take my screenplay to the next level. In a fully entertaining format with well-organized presentations and handouts as well as fun video examples, Pilar led us through a thorough and professional rewrite process. Highest recommendation!
Pilar’s methods are easy to understand, effective and empowering. They have always helped me get to the next level. I wish I could have Pilar sitting next to me at my desk every time I write!
Christy Stratton, writer and Co-Executive Producer of “Awkward,” “Raising Hope,” and “King of the Hill.”
Knows what your script needs long before you do. A session with Pilar is like a double jolt of espresso.
Juliet & Keith Giglio, writers “Tarzan,” “Cinderella Story,” “Halloweentown,” “Noah” & “Pizza My Heart”
Pilar has taken my career to the next level. Her inspiring effective tools and write-now approach gets the draft done with immediacy. I conceived a new pilot idea on the spot in her TV Pilot Workshop, wrote a draft in her First Draft class, and got final notes in a consult. That pilot went on to place top 5 in the TrackingB contest and landed me literary representation. Pilar is my lucky go-to teacher!
I love Pilar! She’s smart, direct, efficient, articulate and has been a real saving grace for me when it comes to pitching and rewriting. She has an incredible ability to sort through and distill studio/producer notes. Her suggestions for fixes are beyond inspired. And her ability to focus in on what’s important and what can be let go is invaluable. I’m so grateful to have found her early in my writing career and I know we’ll work together for a very long time.
Creator & Executive Producer of Significant Mother – CW Network
Pilar Knows what your script needs long before you do. A session with Pilar is like a double jolt of espresso.
Juliet & Keith Giglio
Tarzan, Cinderella Story, Halloweentown, Noah & Pizza My Heart
Pilar’s On the Page curriculum and The Coffee Break Screenwriter was invaluable in taking me from a novice screenwriter to being accepted into the Warner Bros Writers’ Workshop and, subsequently, being staffed on a critically acclaimed show. I trust Pilar’s tools and methodology implicitly. Her knowledge of story, structure and process is masterful.
Writer on CW’s ‘The 100′
Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop Fellow
Pilar’s sweet guidance and honest approach to discovering one’s plot, characters and dialogue is truly unmatched. When it comes to developing your great story, no one else does it better.
Director of Development, Reel FX
Pilar helped me take my storytelling to the next level. I would not be the writer I am today without her.
Like a great doctor, she listens and observes and then accurately not only diagnoses/pinpoints the exact problems, but also suggests cures that actually work.
Pilar can help take any scene or story from good to great. I love this woman!
Writer of Goodnight Burbank
Writer of One Small Step for Neil
I’ve had the fortune to have worked with a couple great mentors in my life. Pilar Alessandra is in a league of her own. A gifted “story surgeon,” equipped a laser sharp ability to go see the story from multiple angles and go right to the heart of what’s not working, while enhancing what is. As a teacher she is humble, assessable and direct with the objective to clarify the writer’s voice and elevate their craft to the highest possible level. Every serious writer needs a Pilar.
Creator/Writer – LEFT, Warner Horizons, The Good Mother, Zoe, Gone – Lifetime TV
Pilar is AMAZING! I started as a student of hers over ten years ago and have since become a client. I can say without a doubt that her notes on everything from pitches to drafts are laser sharp and extremely helpful. She speaks “writer” and gives concise, respectful feedback that only enhances your final product.
Writer: Jump In | Camp Rock
Writer/Producer: Girlfriends | One Tree Hill | House of Lies | Grey’s Anatomy
Pilar’s approach to scriptwriting has proven to be an incredibly efficient way to transform my ideas from a pile of loosely affiliated thoughts into a polished, effective screenplay. She takes the seemingly monumental task of writing a feature script and breaks it down into easily manageable parts…It’s a great system that unlocks and channels a writer’s creativity, and her positive energy, sharp eye and writing expertise make her a fantastic teacher and consultant. Pilar rocks!
Professor at Savannah College of Art and Design
Writer-Director: EYE OF THE HURRICANE
Pilar Alessandra has consulted on every script I have sold since becoming a writer. Her experience reading scripts as well as the number of scripts she has read, gives her unparalleled script expertise. If there is something not working in my script she will find it as well as give suggestions to make a script better that more often than not, I find myself using. I know that no matter how ‘finished’ I think my script is, it’s absolutely not until Pilar reads it!
Writer: A Guy Thing
Writer / Director: The Godfather of Green Bay
Want your pages to pop — like the lids on the jars you hand to a strong friend? Call on Pilar. A pro who’s seen it all, she is also shrewd, creative, fun, warm, and supportive. She will help you tell the story you want to tell — but with first-rate structure, dialogue, character, plot and story. In a real way, she is inoculation against rejection.
2012 Toronto Independent Film Festival, first place winner for comedy
The way you teach – by getting us to work goddammit! – is a great way of engaging us and personally I had several small breakthroughs because of it. So: thank you.
Just wanted to thank you for your TV Pilot and New Series Workshop which I took in May. I used the tools you taught us on a script I submitted to Disney/ABC Writers Program and was able to get a semi-finalist spot out of 1500!
During this 2 day class, I gained far more information on screenwriting that I did during a 3 year course at university. Pilar addressed any and all concerns I had as a newbie to the screenwriting world and has left me creatively pumped!
I just completed Pilar’s online “Coffee Break Screenwriting” seminar. Having been writing for several years, I always found 110 blank pages to be a bit daunting. Pilar’s straightforward step-by-step methodology makes developing and writing a screenplay extremely manageable. The worksheets are a great guide and take you beat by beat through the process of developing your screenplay. This is exactly the craft techniques I have been searching for.
Your presentation and handouts nailed it for me, giving me solid tools to move from novelist voice/skill set to the mindset/voice of the screenwriter. I love tools that sharpen what you already posses. You have a gift.
You taught me at the London Screen Writers Festival 2012 how to pitch myself for representation. I went for it at the festival pitching to five agents, two ideas – loglines also from your session! I was followed up with emails FROM the agents and sent over my calling card scripts….five months later I finally got signed by one of those agents on Thursday!!!!! The very agent I sat opposite at the LSF. Thank you so so much for being part of my journey, I hope to catch you next time in London.
I absolutely loved taking Pilar’s class. As a working tv writer, I signed up because I’ve struggled in the past to complete an original feature in my television down time. I wanted someone to give me assignments and something more than self-imposed deadlines. What I got was, honestly, so much more than that.
Pilar is so meticulous and able to break things down in such a structured, manageable, inspiring way. I feel like she gave me the tools to approach my feature with confidence (rather than being intimidated) and gave me the inspiration (and the deadlines) to commit and to finally finish it.
Liz Tigelaar (Writer/Producer: Nashville, Revenge, Once Upon A Time, Life Unexpected, Brothers and Sisters)
I want to thank you personally for all that you do to help aspiring writers like myself get our ideas on paper. You have pretty much given us filmmakers a blueprint on how to approach an idea and develop it into a story and this is priceless information IMHO.
Pilar is a muse! I took her rewrite class and wrote more in 6 weeks than I have in 6 months. Her keen ability to zero in on story opportunities, character, and what to edit is second to none… And she is fun! Her book is a wealth of information, but there is nothing like being in the same room discussing your project with the master and fellow writers. I left every class on cloud nine and bursting at the seams with a plethora of ideas. Writing is rather isolating; it’s great to know that Pilar is in my court. I am so grateful for her skill and talent and will continue to tap into Pilar for all my projects. Many thanks!
Truly enjoyed your teaching this weekend at Story Expo. Of all the speakers to whom I was exposed, you were the most organized, generous and knowledgeable. Your points were practical and useful. Thank you!
I have been using a lot of what I learned in your class with with my writing. In fact, it was going back to your very simple character development notes that helped me revise the novel I just sold.
Lane Morris Buckman
Wanted to fill you in about the script I completed in your rewrite class — it has gotten me tons of meetings all over town and representation. I appreciate your teachings and will continue to value everything you taught me as I hone my skills as a writer.
Everyone I spoke with agreed with me, in that, as novice screenwriters, your class gave us more mechanics of the craft than any others we attended. Thank you for being there, and being accessible.
I am getting a ton out of the class & the exercises. It is making my writing better – in real time, right now!
It’s great to feel things moving forward, and also so refreshing and rare to have someone lead the way who makes it all seem so doable – not like something mysterious that is wrapped in some kind of crazy creative code that needs to be figured out.
Just a word to let you know that I am so enjoying the Online classes. It is really fitting in well with several projects I am working on now (from short stories to stand-up comedy routines)!
I attended your seminar when you came to Winnipeg and I kept drooling at the announcements you were sending out about programs at your studio.
Now I’m there!
I just wanted to drop a note of thanks; I found out last night I quartered in Nicholl. Your methodology is a huge part of my arsenal.
Ali Imran Zaidi
Thank you again for such an amazing class yesterday! This was the first class that I actually came away with some great actionable information. I’ve been to so many classes and seminars that was just a waste of time and money. But after yesterday, I walked away informed and truly inspired.
Monique Gramby, NYC
I think what comes through perhaps strongest of all, from now both the classes I’ve taken with you, is your absolute sincerity in how much you’re rooting for us all to succeed and I don’t want you to think that has gone unnoticed for even a second.
I went there with barely a logline. In that one day, you helped me break the entire story, with five fully developed characters that I didn’t even know I had inside me yet. By the time the retreat was over, I had a detailed outline with every scene mapped out. Everything just flowed! Once I started writing my pages it was even better. I really cannot imagine how far you helped me go in one day, and then how easy it was to change the entire skeleton of the story using your basic beats. I can’t thank you enough!!
I just wanted to let you know that thanks to your tutorship and excellent workshop, I started and finished my 91 page script, The Carrier, at the marathon.
I just wanted to say thanks so much for the other night. It was exactly what I needed. I’ve been pffaffing around with about four ideas, constantly procrastinating – based in a fear that I don’t know enough to write a screenplay yet. And you gave me the confidence to just get started. It’s a pretty messy at the moment but at least it’s getting on the page.
Its not often I turn down a chat with Simon Beaufoy so was delighted that your Dynamic Dialogue class lived up to its billing. Fantastic to have met you Pilar and look forward to dropping in to On The Page next time I am stateside 🙂
The woman of the match for me was Pilar Alessandra, who with grace and efficiency got down to the nitty-gritty of dialogue and how to navigate it to your script’s advantage. Inspirational, I thought. I high-tailed it to the book sale going on at Heringham Hall to pick up a DVD of On The Page, but alas, they were sold out.
Your time and approach are immeasurable. With work, you’ll see my first script to screen soon and I can now say that Pilar Alessandra aided in my process.
Tieuel Legacy Motion
Pilar Alessandra’s screenwriting techniques are among the most valuable I’ve ever come across. She takes a systematic approach to every step of the process, carefully guiding the writer from concept to final draft.
Chris Sparling, writer of “Buried”
I just wanted to let you know that with the tools I learned from your Rewrite class that helped me clean up my script, I advanced to the Second Round (top 10%) of the Austin Film Festival Screenplay and Teleplay Competition! My first advancement, ever!
Thanks for all the great knowledge and forever changing the way I approach story!
I took your Pitch In A Minute workshop at Pitchfest, and it was the most helpful one of all. I was able to pitch my 3 sitcoms in a five minute meeting and they all took all three one-sheets! The only times I didn’t get to all three were when they were so entranced with the first one, they had lots of follow-up questions. And those were with company heads, so they lead to script requests on the spot. I can’t thank you enough.
Thank you for presenting the Coffee Break Screenwriter today.
It was informative and inspirational. Your methodology creates an easy way to write a screenplay. I feel like I have the tools to complete my screenplay and have it ready for presentation (after several rewrites of course). It is like I have the confidence and knowledge to bring a compelling and entertaining story to life. Many thanks…
At the beginning of the class I wasn’t sure I would even be able to get up to my 5 pages to be read in class. I am sure there will be quite a bit that isn’t working, but, I’m now on page 45 of my script.
I just wanted to take a moment to reiterate how much I got out of your class last Sunday. I have a pile of troubled, unfinished scripts. I get to the same point each time and just get lost, frustrated and feel I’ll never “be able to write.”
Something clicked in my head towards the end of your class. I have read too many books, watched too many videos, and put too many “experts” on a pedestal. My head is so jumbled with so many contradictory rules that I am immobilized by dogma when I reach a certain point in my story development.
You are so approachable, and your methods reflect your personality. 🙂 I would love to take more of your classes.
I took just two classes with you, one in LA at the 2009 Screenwriting Expo and the Coffee break screenwriter here in my city, Miami. Thanks to your lessons, I could apply the same principles in Spanish and in 2011 in Panama (my native country), four (4) theatrical plays written by me were produced. I am so happy, I wish to see you soon in Miami again!!….
I just wanted to thank you for tonight’s great screenwriting intensive. Breaking the story has always held me back in the past. My last screenplay took the better part of seven (ugh) years to complete. But while listening to your podcast each week I finished it and went on to win the screenplay competition at the Garden State Film Festival last year. So thanks again for a great class and for a wonderful podcast that has become a regular part of my life.
Chris Molinaro, New Jersey
I got so much out of your workshop tonight! Really, thank you, I feel much more confident sitting down and actually moving my writing forward using your outlines/techniques.
Thank you so much for this incredible experience. I just started writing about 6 months ago and your class has dumped some fuel to the fire! You have a very warm teaching style and made this an accessible and enjoyable experience for everyone. I feel like a have a really great toolbox. Many, many thanks!!!
I want to say THANK YOU for all of your help. Your class and writing group have given me a confidence and push that were needed for me to go forward. All I do is think about writing, next ideas (I’ve got a good one for you!) and work in front of Final Draft.
I wanted to thank you so very much for helping me get to this exciting point as I look forward to expanding and growing as a writer and artist.
It was awesome to meet you and take your 3 hour class. When you gave us only 4-10 minutes for each exercise, it did not allow me to think too much, just write. I found that I was super productive and could churn out the material very quickly.
Richard (Dusty), Seattle, WA
I just plain got it and wanted to get home and write. We learned economy of writing by way of economy of teaching. Brilliant.
Julie Albertson, Seattle, WA
Thanks so much for coming up to Boston and sharing some knowledge with us on Tuesday. I learned so much in such a short period of time. I haven’t put it “on the page” in a few months, you have pulled me out of my funk!
Just wanted to say thanks for a great class. I came away with a nice little set of tools to layout a story and craft each scene. Not sure how I missed this, or got along without it.
I truly enjoyed the Coffee Break class last week! I have never written a script before nor, done any kind of writing like that in my entire life thus far!! That has all changed now! The entire shell of our movie was laid out before us during your class.
I was amazed at how fast 3 hours went by – like 30 minutes! You gave us a way of working that allows us to see around all the curves in the road. You are like a best friend who says, Dude, that way, there: now go!
Thank you for the directions to my future. I promise not to squander the gift you’ve worked so hard to give us writers. I will not turn back or wander into the woods. And I will see you at the finish line.
Christopher Nagel, Miami
I really loved your process for finding the best line of dialogue. I’ve often tried to read through longer passages to try to glean the perfect one-liner, but I’d never thought of barfing a long monologue on the page when you’re stuck to find that gem of a line. It worked really well for me every time I’ve tried it.
I was also really impressed with your ability to hone a log line in just seconds with a few key questions — it’s one thing to be able to do it yourself, but to effortless shape and perfect the log lines of all of us is beyond impressive.
Andrew Iseminger, Seattle
Thanks for all the great resources you provide! I took your rewrite workbook course back in March and ended up adapting my screenplay into a web series. Using your idea for scene buttons and 10 min blocks made great milestones for a web show format. I have produced, directed and am now posting the episodes and our audience is growing! Your ideas, guests, and teaching have certainly helped me get to this spot!
Jason Baumgardner (Creator “The League”)
I’m getting great feedback from Saturday’s meeting. Some have said it was the best presentation we’ve ever had!
Karla Olson, President of the Publishers and Writers of San Diego
You have a talent for taking an icon of an American Dream, “Screenwriter” and making it seem absolutely within reach of the part-time writer.
All too often screenwriting courses and book emphasize analysis of the finished product rather than methods to generate stories – what’s so helpful about your material is the focus on process and tools. You’ve helped me improve my process a great deal!
GREAT information last night. The tools you shared are invaluable! I feel like I know how to get from point A to Z at least as far as my stories go. Thank you!
I’m someone who has taken a lot of screenwriting classes and read a lot of screenwriting books. Your online workbook is the most efficient and to-the-point approach I’ve encountered. It cuts through to the essence of each aspect of a script. You provide a sequence of clever and effective tools to ensure that structure, dialog, character, scene, tone and theme are each working in a script. The clarity and efficacy of your tools gave me a great development process on my most recent script. Thank you!
I have learned so much from you over the years!! I have taken your online workbook courses, and been present for many of your screenwriting conference appearances and have been overly satisfied by the investment in your screenplay analysis services!
I really enjoyed the rewrite class. The light bulb went on in my head today that I’m actually having FUN rewriting my script.
Before Pilar’s classes, I was trapped in the cliche of creating a couple of good scenes, dialogue and characters, and then…hitting my head against the wall. Studying with Pilar has allowed me to maximize my creativity while providing me with the structure needed to see projects to completion.
I’ve always admired her teaching style– giving a safe, creative space where students’ ideas and brainstorms for stories are encouraged and developed.
Unlike the many page-counting cookbook methods out there that dictate your movie, beat-by-beat, Pilar’s methods foster a solid structure, while still giving room for inspiration and spontaneity.
She gives you a form to work with, not a formula. Best of all, her exercises and steps are repeatable and able to be used script after script.
Thanks for everything, Pilar. Your energy and coaching mean the world to me!
I spent about 4 hours re-writing/ editing and your ideas are golden. The story essence is emerging like a clear face, not a fuzzy one. I can’t thank you enough.
I used your 8-sequence method and applied it to the 4-act structure of a TV pilot and finished it a week ago. Thank you for giving me a new way to break stories down and not be intimidated by a blank page.
I took your class in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. You were so inspiring that I have written 30 pages of my script since I attended your class and I’m on a roll.
I’m dropping you a line to let you know that my feature screenplay Powerless has become a finalist in the Beverly Hills Film Festival screenplay competition. That was due in no small part to workshopping it in class and consulting with you on it. You heroically straightened the plot kinks and streamlined the story, so THANK YOU!!
Pilar, thank you. Your seminar was an eye opener for me in realizing what it takes to become a professional screenwriter. You inspire a level of excellence and story craft that will continue to push and inspire me. I used the concepts in the rewrite course to accelerate and give depth to my first draft… and the results were fantastic! We locked picture in 2008 and have been gradually working the festival circuit, winning the critic’s choice award at the Oldenburg Film Festival, and Best Feature and Best of Festival at the Lake Arrowhead Film Festival a few months ago. Tomorrow, we are the gala centerpiece screening for the Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles.
Michael Bruce Adams
Using Pilar’s techniques you can’t help but write…and write well. Her methods do not dwell on confusing theory or one-size-fits-all templates. She’s about character, story and getting your idea on the page. After just one class, I went to work on an older script and am now a 2009 Nicholl quarterfinalist and a client for life. Thank you Pilar!
It is because of your instruction that I was able to complete works that I feel can stand with the best.
I just wanted to tell you again how much I enjoyed your seminar. Multiple lightbulbs clicked on for how I can make some key changes to improve my screenplay. Thanks so much for the useful and inspiring info!
Amy Masterman, NYC
Your enthusiasm is infectious. I went right to work on my script when I got home.
After five years of patch and fog, I’ve finally nailed both story and writing routine thanks to your technique. Thanks again – this stuff works!
David Cook, UK
I took Pilar’s Rewrite Class and was completely blown away by her professionalism and incredible insight into the craft of writing! The in-class exercises and film clips that she uses totally crystallize the various techniques that not only fine-tune your draft but serve as lessons that stick with you and make you a better writer overall. Her feedback and comments were invaluable – she forced me to dig deep and find the story that was screaming to be told. Every writer (aspiring, up and coming, or established) needs a good coach – and I found that in Pilar. I highly recommend her if you want to take your writing to the next level!
Monica Macer, Staff Writer “Prison Break,” and “Lost,” Former Creative Executive Disney Studios
Everything in me said I didn’t need another screenwriting class. But tired of spinning my wheels, and hoping for inspiration, I signed up for Pilar’s class “Six Steps to a Screenplay.” I got more than inspiration. Where I saw “holes,” Pilar saw “opportunity.” Something about the way Pilar taught made everything CLICK. Things started to happen for me as a screenwriter. After using the techniques I learned in Pilar’s pitching class, I signed with my manager, which led to a screenplay option. When I needed to do a quick rewrite for talent, the tools Pilar had given me in her classes and writing groups gave me the confidence I needed. She made my writing shine even “under the gun.” And now, thanks to Pilar, I have another spec ready!
Heather Ragsdale, script option with “Christmas in July Productions” & in development
After several rough drafts, I decided to try Pilar’s “Six Steps to a Rewrite” class and my writing partner and I followed up with a script consultation. The combination of her helpful worksheets and invaluable notes really pushed our screenplay to the next level. We are thrilled to say that it recently sold to Sony Pictures. In addition, we signed with Brillstein Entertainment Partners. We couldn’t have done it without her.
Monica Mullens & Chris Warren, script sale to Sony Pictures
Sometimes it’s astonishing how much there is still to learn. But then Pilar is an astonishing teacher who sent me off fizzing with ideas to inject life into what I thought was a moribund idea. If only five thousand miles didn’t separate us the rest of the time.
Simon Rose, writer of The Flying Scotsman produced by Scion Films
I took the class you gave the Disney fellows and writers. Your techniques helped me get my first offer on my first reality show pitch!
Thanks for your great “Screenplay from Scratch” session [at the Screenwriting Expo]. I had a rough movie idea when I walked in your room, had an outline when I left, then sat down with a friend to brainstorm a bit more right after, and by the time I left the Expo, had a pretty good start on a new movie.
I just wanted to thank you for all the wonderful information you gave us in the Rewrite Class. Your teaching style always makes it enjoyable, with your knowledge and great personality. Now we are left with so much (fun) work to do. We will be in touch later on, when we think the script is tweaked, and set a date when we can hire you to read and give your input.
As I work on my script, I am reminded how very much I enjoyed working with you…as well as, how very precise, and helpful your comments are! You are a gem.
Thanks so much for a wonderful class. I’m thrilled about what I learned. Your approach is much different–and better–than the typical screenwriting workshop. You are a real inspiration.
Thanks for a great great weekend!! You are an amazing teacher – it’s a long class but it moves at such a great pace, and honestly you make it so accessible. I left both days feeling like I can totally do this.
Annie Hanlon, Executive Producer, Chromatic Films
Your workshop was one of the most helpful at the fest!
Brooke Elizabeth, Great American Pitchfest 2008
Pilar’s seminar was engaging, insightful and informative. I am so happy I was able to attend to see her in person.
Kathleen Mullin, Great American Pitchfest 2008
Pilar’s a great teacher!
Clayton Root, Great American Pitchfest 2008
I can’t believe how much I enjoyed and how much I got out of Pilar’s workshop!! It was exactly what I needed to hear and addressed exactly what I was having problems with! I am definitely going to want to consult with her as soon as I finish my script and if Pilar comes to Hawaii in the next 6 months let me know. I also won the DVD in the raffle – love it!
Tanya Santiago, Great American Pitchfest 2008
I thoroughly enjoyed attending Pilar’s workshop and feel that she has made a positive impact on my writing.
Julie Kristine Sullivan, Great American Pitchfest 2008
Please tell Pilar what a well run and wonderful event this was. It was my first, it will not be my last.
Scott Whitney, Great American Pitchfest 2008
We all agree: we had a great time with you in Vancouver. Sunday’s workshop was lots of fun. Thanks for coming. Thanks for motivating, inspiring. For making us again realize how easy it is (the writing part anyway).
Roddy MacDonald, Garnet Campbell, Grant Gladish, Vancouver
Thank you so much for your NYC On The Page class. It was great fun brainstorming and talking screenwriting for a couple of hours with such a talented story consultant and so many like minded people. I really connected with all the writing tools you showed us. I think it’s a great way to brainstorm any part of your story you having trouble with.
Gary Weskrna, NYC
I have plenty to gush about but I know you’re on the run so I’ll be brief. I can’t wait to apply what you taught us to my current draft and try out the whole process on my next screenplay. You are the best thing that’s happened to screenwriting since I started eight years ago. Thanks very much for sharing your hard won knowledge.
I left with a renewed purpose and a real sense of order and structure to the chaos that is my imagination. As I bought the DVD too, I’ll be watching and using it as a helpful tool and refresher course! I plan to book you for some one-on-one as I reach the end of the rewrite process, and will definitely be taking the Dialogue Seminar next time you’re in town. Thanks again for the extremely helpful workshop.
Kevin Speckmaier, Vancouver
I am a typical native New Yorker with little time for nonsense. I find your style refreshing and your instructions easy to follow.
Patric Peter Concepción, New York
Pilar is a screenwriting genius. She has a mind for story and story structure that is unparalleled. There is no question that I am a better writer for having had the opportunity to learn from her. I’ve come across a lot of screenwriting gurus and methodologies in the last 15 years, but no one has ever made the craft and art of screenwriting so clear-cut and utterly achievable. She helps writers get the stories out of their heads and onto the page in a way that doesn’t compromise the writer’s idea and that makes that idea both accessible and marketable to the industry. Pilar is, quite simply, a little better than the best.
Just a quick note to thank you for your input and thoughts. It’s a miracle how you can cut through and fix a story. Amazing. Keep up the good work.
I got the internship! Couldn’t have done it without your class.
Thank you again for another great educational experience, full of interesting and valuable concepts that you always teach so well.
Thanks again for the class. I now have tools that have been helping me crack into my rewrite so I can now actually SEE my script.
Thank you for equipping me with the tools I need to tackle this rewrite and finally make my brainchild the GREAT script that I know it can be! In short, you rock!
With Pilar’s help, my romantic comedy has placed in 7 major screenwriting contests in a single year, including as a Quarterfinalist in the Nicholl Fellowships! The genius part about her class is how she breaks everything down into easy-to-swallow, bite-sized pieces that take the pain out of rewriting. Your script will definitely improve because Pilar’s suggestions are both practical and right on the mark.
Thank you so much for all the gems of wisdom you have shared with us. Your class has freed me up and inspired me. You have such a creative way coaxing out the subconscious. Stanislavski said it is like trying to coax a deer out from the woods. You have done it by awakening my inner child. Seeing the game in each scene has changed me. I feel like a sponge and cannot get enough. I really am enjoying it. I have already thanked you in my imaginary academy award speech.
I turned in that book coverage to the production company, and they said it was the most professional looking coverage they’d ever seen. Thank you for the training!
I take your workshop every year at the Expo. It’s always extremely informative. I always walk out knowing more than when I walked in. Thank you!
What a FABULOUS and INFORMATIVE time I had yesterday!! I’m prepping one adaptation, one biblical epic and one supernatural thriller that I couldn’t figure out HOW to start. And now, the possibilities are endless!!!
Just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful class yesterday! I know I’ve learned some valuable techniques. That was probably the best $50 dollars I ever spent. And thanks to your ten-minute techniques, I’ve been getting in 25 pages a week!
I just finished my first script using some of the tools you gave me. I think it turned out well – much better than my earlier scripts, and response to the first draft from friends, especially those in the industry, has been really, really positive.
Had such a good time yesterday. Amazing how vitally important all the tools you offer are – the chance to look at why something feels tired…I’m really pleased with everything you shared. The tone felt informal, fun, and exciting…and I can’t imagine how excited I would be as a screenwriter in Kansas or Michigan to get my hands on a tool like this.
You were awesome in the DVD taping, just thought I’d let you know in case you were short on the ab fab comments, which I doubt! The great thing is that you were still connecting to all of us and so supportive as always even with all that camera and lights thing going on, so I think that connectedness that is such a trademark of your teaching is going to come through as well.
I attended two of your workshops at the Creative Screenwriting Expo in October, and I found them to be among the most worthwhile and enjoyable things I did all weekend (the Dynamic Dialogue workshop was particularly helpful). I came away convinced that your input on a script would be extremely valuable.
In winter trimester 2003 I took part in your wonderful dynamic scene-writing class at UCLA. The short film I was working on, “Great Expectations,” got invited to this year’s Palm Springs Short Film Festival (2007). This would probably never have happened if it wasn’t for your great class and all the wonderful things you taught us.